Ethnographic ARt

 

Theory and imagery from anthropology have made their way into my artwork for many years.  Most recently, the interactive installation “View from the High Ground” (selected images in rows two and three) features “dehumanization” the fourth stages of genocide in the model first presented to the U.S State Department in 1996 by anthropologist Gregory Stanton. Dehumanization or social death consists of that critical cognitive shift that allows humans to treat other humans in ways generally reserved only for animals. The piece focuses on 9 of the genocides that have taken place over the past 500 years: Genocides of Native Americans, African Americans, Australian Aborigines, Armenians, Rohingya; the Holocaust, and genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Cambodia. Nine handmade books created on pages of an old Zoology textbook cut into thirds let the viewer page between images that transform back and forth between human/beast/ predator/vermin/parasite and the various chimera. Each books is embedded in slate and placed on a tall white washed wood table supported by pipes and furnace parts.